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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Sabra Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #438
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(09-23-2012 12:26 AM)23Billion Wrote:  Hey man.

I talked to a few guys and one crane operator with over 30 years of experience. He told me that there are literally no kobs if one is not in a union. He basically told me that no company will ever hire a non-unionized crane operator.

I am just gathering info right now. I will do whatever feels right in my gut though.

Should I do thr First Aid ticket also? I think H2S Alive is enough for me. I need to make some cash before I can spend it on taking a crane operator course. I also do have the Telehandler/Zoomboom ticket.

I want to add a word about unions, for those who haven't worked for or with unions before. I have a lot of experience with them in the States, not in Canada, but I'm betting they're pretty similar.

Unions are tough. They tend to be very insular, distrustful, and completely seniority-based. Meaning that they're gonna take the senior machine operator's nephew before they take you. Or the slacker son of the local rep with one month more seniority than you will have access to tons of overtime you can't get. When there's plenty of work to go around, things can be good, but when it gets tough, expect to be sitting on your ass or getting the worst jobs and no OT.

Infighting within unions can be as bitter and draining as any political battle you can imagine. The seniority thing can really weigh on you if you're the type who expects to be rewarded for working hard (unions tend to reward you for doing just as much as necessary, no more).

Then there's the embitterment with management. If you're on the white collar side of things, these guys can make your life hell if you rub them wrong.

And try getting a job as a non-union member in a local's home turf - they'll run you off quick, and not gently.

I'm not debating the necessity of unions - if it weren't for them, no doubt that management would be raping the average blue collar guy even more than they already do. Unions ensure that their members get very necessary benefits and protections, and add some counterbalance to too-powerful company heads. But remember, they can quickly turn against you and you'll find yourself blacklisted in your field.

Best advice I can give - until you build up trust (and this takes a long time), keep your mouth shut as much as possible and don't get baited. Take it for what it's worth, show respect to the older guys, and stay the hell out of the management/union battles.
09-23-2012 11:31 AM
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - Sabra - 09-23-2012 11:31 AM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM